Category Archives: Entertaining

Traditional Christmas Decor Tour Part 2

In my last blog post, I started my tour of Traditional Christmas Decor in Every Room. We made our way from the front door through the foyer and peeked into several inspiring living rooms.  Now we’ll take the second part of our traditional Christmas decor tour.

First, let’s head into the kitchen to prepare the Christmas feast! This traditional kitchen invites everyone to gather round for egg nog while the figgy pudding is cooking. (However you are meant to cook figgy pudding…)

Nobody wants a cluttered kitchen, so the decorations here are cleverly kept to the kitchen island, with another display over the cabinet on the left. A Chef Santa, mini Christmas tree, and red candles in the center of the kitchen island still leave plenty of space for people to gather round for drinks and snacks. The mistletoe berries and silver festooned on the lamps create most of the merry mood – and those decorations don’t take up precious counter space at all.

Into the dining room we go to serve the turkey! Again the chandeliers are decorated with ribbons and bows to create a terrific focal point. The decorations feature an Old Gold color again, like the staircase in my previous holiday decor post. That shade seems to work beautifully with any room color scheme – almost like a rich neutral.

On the other hand, the gentle whites and deep evergreens at this holiday table look traditionally wintery but refreshingly serene. The slight Nordic style is enhanced by the reindeer decorations. The pretty birds on the plates also look festively chirpy! Soft white linens on the natural wood are set off by a trail of ivy down the center of the table, while white church pillar candles, surrounded by twinkling night lights in little holders, evoke the spiritual sense of Christmas.

Don’t forget the bedroom! Kids have their Christmas stockings but adults deserve some holiday spirit in the bedroom too. This bedroom has a few accessories added to bring in seasonal cheer: the two wreaths on the doors, the two bowls of white poinsettias in the en suite bathroom, and the two snowflake Christmas pillows on the bed. The symmetry of the pairs makes the environment feel pleasingly balanced and tranquil. If you are looking for pretty bedroom accessories, we have hand-woven traditional Christmas pillows and stockings in our online gallery.

Even the bathroom deserves a touch of festivity! The traditional Christmas decor in this classic bathroom includes mistletoe and greenery over the mirror. Red flowers and a red towel also add the ho-ho-holiday spirit. Decorative tricks like the fir cones tied with red ribbon from the wall sconces and a glass jar filled with red and silver Christmas ball ornaments are simple to do, but they pack a visual punch!

If you are looking for more Christmas decor ideas, check out my post on Christmas Table Decorations.

We’d love to hear your own traditional Christmas decor ideas and tips… tell us here or on our Facebook page.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Traditional Christmas Decor in Every Room

Don’t just deck the halls with boughs of holly… add the Christmas touch to every room!
I hope that my mini tour of different homes with their holiday decor will provide you with inspiration for traditional Christmas decor in every room.

Let’s start our tour with the front door. This handsome front door in Atlanta, GA, is decorated with traditional greenery and red ribbons. But the black and white check ribbon adds a crisp touch and makes a great accent for the black door. It all looks charmingly vintage.

Moving into the foyer, the Christmas decorations on this splendid staircase in a home in Houston, TX, could be overwhelming as the scene is so ornate. But the single color tone – a lovely Old Gold – unifies the design and makes it look rich and harmonious rather than fussy.

If you don’t have such a huge and sweeping staircase in your foyer, then you can still make a small section of the stairway look wonderful. The key here is: Don’t hold back on the swags and flourishes! And speaking of don’t hold back…

The flamboyant “more is more” approach of this Grand Colonial style living room is so festive that it is like a Christmas movie. Where are the carol singers and the trays of hot buttered rum? How could any child (or adult) fail to feel the joy of the season if they spent one minute  in this celebratory living room? The decorations framing the armoire are amazing. Of course, we love the antique armoires in our gallery so we are biased.

Do you prefer living room decorations that are a little simpler, while still keeping a sense of tradition? Perhaps this fireplace in Seattle, WA, will inspire you. The fireplace is decorated with traditional elements, for sure. You have the red and green holiday colors, plus Christmas ornaments, logs and a wreath, and old-fashioned lamps with candles. But the styling is streamlined, which creates an updated and sleek mood. The symmetry of the design adds to the feel too.

Or you can take a completely different approach and stick with traditional design elements – the bauble-lavished tree, the garland draped across the fireplace – but give it a fresh twist with non-traditional colors. The ultra-feminine pink and turquoise color palette in this living room creates a fantasy land mood. White deer statues add more magic to the fantasy.

In Part 2 of our Traditional Christmas Decor Tour we look at the kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and bathroom, all decorated with festive spirit!

These photos are from Houzz. You can find EuroLux Home on Houzz.com too.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Family Games for the Holidays

Jonathan Charles Games TableA couple of weeks ago I got an email from Houzz.com saying “Hi Aimee, Congratulations! You were hand-picked by one of our writers to be featured in an editorial ideabook on the homepage of Houzz.”  That was a great way to start the day! The article is called Games People Play and it featured this Jonathan Charles games table that we stock. We sell the games table on our website, as well as from our EuroLux Houzz.com page. The square games table on a nicely carved barley twist column is crafted in walnut wood with oyster veneer. An inlaid top forms the chess board.

Inspired by that mention on Houzz, I thought it would be fun to write a post on family games for the holidays.  I also want to show you some of the superb games furniture we have in stock. Greg and I love to play trivia at a local sports bar in Columbia, SC. Therese, Greg’s aunt that used to work with us, and her boyfriend, Bill, join us every Tuesday evening. Our team is called The Info Junkies and if I can brag a bit – we win quite frequently!

French vintage Games tableNo, we do NOT play trivia night at this fabulous vintage games table, but I wish we did! The table just arrived from France, and the mahogany and green leather set of Regency style table and four chairs dates to 1960. I can picture the Rat Pack seated around it playing poker. I doubt the Rat Pack was any more competitive than we are on trivia nights though!

Chess set Game GlobeBoth Greg and Bill are fonts of useless knowledge and usually amaze us with the randomness of what they know. Therese and I help out too, but we definitely don’t have the stockpile of trivia that Greg and Bill do. Greg has a particularly deep knowledge of music from the 1970s to 1990s and we can both recite the names of the English Monarchy – in order!

For people who prefer to play a civilized game of chess rather than try to remember the name of every member of The Partridge Family,  this new chess set globe is a winner! It is printed with an antique nautical world map and replica frescoes. The chess board is removable so you can play it outside the globe for an out-of-this-world game! (Groan.)  Ambella Home Shuffleboard

Shuffleboard is such a great holiday game for all the family, and this new Ambella Home shuffleboard table is sure to evoke nostalgia. The Elegant Scroll shuffleboard table is finely crafted with handsome decorative details, so it will fit right in to your traditional decor.

Ambella Home foosball table

The matching new Ambella Home foosball table is bound to be fun too in your games room. The old-fashioned and ornate design is crafted with a fine patina and it looks like a games table out of an old pub.

We love the traditional family games, but we also love the newer games and puzzles too. John is a whiz at Sudoku and crossword puzzles and both Kathy and Greg love to play Bejeweled Blitz on their iPads.

Do you love darts, cards, pool, or charades? Tell us the about family games you enjoy for the holidays!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Elegant Halloween Decor: Black and White Thrills

As I said last year in my Vintage Halloween post, Greg and I don’t make a big celebration of Halloween, although we usually watch a creepy movie. But even those of us who don’t want to festoon our homes with plastic spiders can still get ‘into the spirit’ of Halloween with these elegant Halloween decor ideas.

An easy way to create grown-up and elegant Halloween decor is to strip out the orange plastic, the red blood, and the green Zombie brain slime! Go for monochrome with black, white, or black and white.

black and white table setting

elegant halloween table setting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black is Gothic, white is eerie and ethereal, and the two together always look stunning, providing a dash of vintage glamour. The table on the right is very simple, with just empty bottles for candlesticks. To create the look, use as many bottles as you can find of different heights.

Eclectic Living Room by St. John’s Interior Designers & Decorators Seaside Interiors
Here’s another example of how a simple black and white arrangement keeps all the Halloween elements (spider, pumpkin, bat, and boo!) but still looks chic. You probably already have some black and white decor items around the home… just pull them all together in one display.

Elegant halloween batmobileHow about this for a different type of bat-mobile? It’s very easy to make with a branch and card, using the bat templates and instructions by clever Martha Stewart. Hanging in a window, it adds a traditional but still elegant Halloween touch to your home.

I love the nostalgic vintage appeal of this spooky wreath! Make it with some twisted vines draped with white net fabric and old-fashioned Halloween ornaments and sepia photographs. Paint Boo! onto a piece of scrap wood for the finishing touch.

You can even add black and white to the traditional orange pumpkin to make it a bit different. Paint a pumpkin with a circle of chalkboard paint and then let your inner Picasso out! For a Halloween party, it would be fun to have the pumpkins painted with the black, and then give your guests a piece of chalk to create their own fantasy face.

blackberry-mr-hyde-cocktail-elegant-halloweenFor an elegant Halloween cocktail, this blackberry infused Mr. Hyde Potion is perfect for dark and mysterious strangers. It’s not exactly black and white, but it’s near enough. The Mr. Hyde Potion cocktail mixes vodka with parfait amour liqueur, blackberry liqueur, and tarragon and lavender syrups. Wow. You can get the recipe from HGTV. Serve the cocktail (or any cocktail) in an apothecary style jar to add to the Halloween atmosphere.

Or, for a bit more color, you could play Dracula and mix up a Bloody Mary to sink your fangs into. My Uncle Dick’s Bloody Mary recipe is always a monster hit!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these elegant black and white Halloween decor ideas I scared up for you! If you have any more to share, let us know. You can post your photos on our Facebook page too.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Tapestries at Wedmore Place Hotel Williamsburg Winery

European Style Tapestries inspired by antique wall hangingsWedmore Place is a country hotel at the Williamsburg Winery in Virginia. We noticed that some of the tapestries adorning their guest rooms are made by the same company as the tapestries we stock!

Just to rewind a moment, we recently began selling some stunning new tapestries, inspired by formal European tapestries but made by a family-owned American company. The photo on the right gives you an idea of their incredible detail. They also make more casual linen artwork with a Parisian flea market vibe, as well as gorgeous pillows in classic and modern designs.

Apparently the Wedmore Place Country Hotel shares our good taste in tapestries! Located on 300 acres overlooking the James River, in an area known as the Wessex Hundred, the property was once a farm and it was settled in 1615. By 1781, it appeared on military maps.

Wedmore Place HotelThe hotel features wall tapestries in some of its 28 rooms and suites, each room inspired by a different European province and era. The European country estate style hotel is decorated with period European antiques and furniture. Rooms also have wood-burning fireplaces, and fancy European bedding.

Brittany Room Wedmore Place

This new tapestry is the Brittany room, which also boasts an antique French armoire, dough chest, and dresser. I can’t be sure, but I think the pillows on that fabulous carved four-poster bed might be made by the same company as the tapestries – they look similar in style to the ones we have on our EuroLuxHome.com site.

Burgundy wine harvest tapestry

The adjoining Williamsburg Winery was established much more recently, but it’s not surprising that the hotel chose this tapestry for their Burgundy room. It shows a grape harvest in the French wine-growing region of Burgundy. The room’s antique armoire and dresser date from the early 1800s and are from the Chateau de Sauvan. I love the old copper bed warmer over the fireplace.

Wedmore Place at the Williamsburg Winery is located three miles from Historic Williamsburg, VA.  It also offers spa services, a pool, and a 19th century British style library. Sound relaxing, much?

If you like the tapestries, check out our entire collection of tapestries at EuroLuxHome.com. We carry too many to show you them all here, but these are a couple of my favorites:

Palm Landscape Tapestry

Royal Garden tapestry

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Heirloom Tomato Harvest

HeirloomTomatoesThere are so many delicious ways to enjoy the tomato harvest. Heirloom tomatoes are especially fun to cook with and they look beautiful displayed in a rustic wooden bowl on a kitchen counter. Or if you choose heirloom tomato varieties with different colors, create a vibrant centerpiece just by arranging them in a simple glass dish on the dining table.

Tomatoes have a long and interesting history. The fruit (yes, tomatoes are technically a fruit if you didn’t know that already) was already being enjoyed by the Aztecs more than 1300 years ago. The Aztecs called it ‘tomatl’  – that’s where our modern day name comes from.

But tomatoes have also been known as Love Apples and Poison Apples. It’s crazy how the humble tomato can have two such different reputations!

TomatoharvestSpanish conquistadors and explorers introduced the tomato to Europe in the early 16th century, and that’s when rich Europeans started to dub the fruit ‘poison apples.’ People got sick and died after eating them. However, it wasn’t the tomatoes making the rich folk sick. It was the pewter plates they ate from. Tomatoes have a high acidity which reacted with the pewter to leach the lead out, causing lead poisoning.

The French called tomatoes pommes d’amour meaning love apples, because they thought the tomatoes were aphrodisiacs. (Then again, is there ANYTHING that the French don’t make romantic?)

A simple gazpacho with tomatoes is perfect for hot summer days. The cold soup is refreshing and helps keep you hydrated. For extra flavor, it’s great to throw a few heirloom tomatoes in too. There are many gazpacho recipes, but here’s the simple version we like.

Gazpacho Soup Recipe:

5 pounds ripe and juicy tomatoes
1 cup of diced red onions
1 large cucumber
1/3 cup of chopped basil leaves
Juice of 1 or 2 limes
Salt, pepper, and finely diced chile peppers to taste.

Skin the tomatoes. (Drop them in hot water for a few seconds till the skins wrinkle and you can slip them off with your thumbs.) Then core and seed the tomatoes – if you do that over a sieve over a bowl, it will catch the seeds but let the juice go through. You don’t want to waste a drop of that delicious juice! Roughly chop about half of the tomatoes. Put the other half in a blender and liquidize to soup consistency.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and take out the seeds with a spoon, then dice the cucumber. (Skin the cucumber first with a potato peeler if it is very rough skin.)
Then combine all the ingredients, and let chill for an hour or overnight. Go light on the seasoning – once the flavors have blended you can taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Caprese in a shot glassAlthough these don’t look like heirloom tomatoes, these mini insalata caprese in shot glasses are so adorable. They’d be great for a party or a wedding. Just pour some tomato juice in a shot glass (spiked with vodka or not!) and then add the skewered tomato, flourish of basil leaves, and mozzarella ball.

If you like a Bloody Mary, then also check out my Uncle Dick’s Bloody Mary recipe.

There are so many different types of heirloom tomato, and the colorful ones often seem to be the most tasty. Try the black-tinted Black Prince tomato, the stripy Green Zebra tomatoes, or the golden pear-shaped Beam’s yellow pear heirloom tomato, which dates to the early 1800s.

red and yellow heirloom tomatoThe Italian word for tomatoes – pomodoro – actually means golden apple. Some say that is because the earliest types of tomato taken to Italy were the golden yellow varieties. The red tomato became more popular later.

You say to-MAY-to and I say to-MAR-to….. However you say it, I hope you’re enjoying the tomato harvest this year. If you have any heirloom tomato recipes you love, share them with us in the comments box below!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Visit a Beautiful Historic Inn this Spring!

If you’re looking for a spring getaway, why not check into one of these historic inns? Some beautiful old houses around the country have been renovated to their former glory and turned into an inn. Many boast antique furniture and period decor too. It’s a great way to step into history and enjoy the antiques lifestyle!

Simpson House Historic InnSimpson House Inn in gorgeous Santa Barbara, California, is an old Victorian estate in an acre of English gardens. The guest rooms in this luxurious historic inn are scattered between the 1874 Victorian home and restored barn and garden cottages. The Victorian decor includes antique clawfoot tubs and antique beds – so romantic!

Monmouth Historic InnTucked away in Natchez, Mississippi, you’ll find the Monmouth Historic Inn. Natchez is 90 miles southwest of Jackson, MS, and it’s actually the oldest city on the Mississippi River. The Monmouth Historic Inn was built in 1818 and the rooms boast period decor and antebellum-era antiques. You really are stepping back in time!

Monmouth Historic InnThis hall in the Monmouth Historic Inn shows the detail in the period decor and antique furniture. No wonder it’s a National Historic Landmark. If you can tear yourself away to explore outside the inn, you can wander around 26 landscaped acres.

Roycroft historic inn The Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, New York, is a wonderful place for anyone who loves Arts and Crafts decor. The National Historic Landmark opened as an inn in 1905, as a hub for artists in the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

As you might expect, there is some lovely woodwork in the old inn. The library has an old stone fireplace and you can also see original Alexis Jean Fournier murals in the foyer.

The Preservation Directory lists historic inns in every state if you’d like to find one closer to home. Or tell us about your own favorite historic inn in the comment box below!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Romantic Napkin Folding Ideas

I’ve been sleuthing out some romantic napkin folding ideas just in time for Valentine’s Day. A napkin folded into a pretty shape is such a lovely idea for your intimate Valentine’s dinner for two. Not only does it add a romantic touch to the table, but the love and thought you put into wrangling I mean crafting the napkin is a surprise gift for your sweetheart. In fact, these napkin folding designs would be charming on any romantic occasion – a special date, a bridal shower, a wedding, or a wedding anniversary.

Rose Napkin FoldingThis sweet rose folded napkin is made even prettier with a blossom decorating the center. The napkin folding idea is from Bumblebee Linens which sells cotton and linen napkins and some delightful vintage style aprons and handkerchiefs too. You can see the full instructions for the rose napkin on their website. They say the fancy design is easier to do than it looks!

 

This gorgeous heart fold is by Luigi Spotorno, the author of the book Luigi’s Language of Napkin Folding.  I guess we can all see the message in this heart-shaped napkin and he shows you how to do the heart fold in the video. If you’d rather, Luigi also has a diagram of how to do the heart fold on his website.

The intricate water lily or lotus napkin fold will really impress your darling. It would also make a great centerpiece for the table any time you are entertaining. The video instructions on how to do it are by Luigi Spotorno again, who describes himself a Maestro of the art of napkin folding. In the video, he gives several variations of flowers you can make on your way to building his final lotus napkin. He makes it look so easy too!

Swan napkin foldingSwans mate for life and it’s hard to find a more beautiful bird to symbolize pure romance. This pair of swans is actually folded from paper napkins as you can see from the Origamisan swan napkin folding instructions.  It might be tricky to do with bulkier linen napkins, but using paper napkins means that you can keep the swans after the romantic meal! (Just have another napkin ready to roll out when dinner is served.)

I haven’t tried any of the napkin folding ideas yet. I hope I’m not all thumbs. In case any of my napkins flop and look more like rabbits than swans, I want to remind my husband Greg to remember what I said earlier about the love and thought put into it. :-)

And to show us just what is possible with napkin folding, this amazing Renaissance-style sculpture was completely crafted in linen napkins by virtuoso folder Joan Sallas.

Linen Folding ExhibitionThe Spanish napkin-folding genius showed the 5-foot-high display of a fountain with a lion and griffin at his exhibition in Vienna. Wow. Make a gesture like that for your Valentine’s Day dinner and your sweetheart truly will swoon!

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also get some inspiration from my post on romantic bedroom decor!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Homemade Christmas Fragrance

We’ve already shared some of our favorite recipes for Christmas cookies. Now we’ll make the house smell delicious with our homemade Christmas fragrance!

SnowmanGreg’s mom Kathy loves having all of the family come home for Christmas. Greg’s sister, Laura, and her family moved to Ohio several years ago, so it is great to have everyone back in South Carolina for the week surrounding Christmas. They enjoy coming south to get out of the snow! This is my brother-in-law, Mike, and my nephew, Matthew, with the snowman they made last week. We all love Kathy’s baking and she loves to bake – so it works out great!

Christmas Haystacks CookiesIn addition to Kathy’s recipes for Christmas cookies that I blogged about before, Kathy also makes Haystacks with chow mein noodles and peanuts in melted butterscotch bits. They look so festive on her lovely platter.

I readily admit – I am not much of a baker. I once made a “No Bake Strawberry Pie” for Greg. He took one bite and chokingly asked, “You didn’t bake the crust?” Nowhere in the stupid recipe did it say to bake the pie crust and the name of the recipe is “No Bake Strawberry Pie” – I rest my case! I haven’t attempted baking since.

As there isn’t much chance of any cookies baking at my house, I do like to add our special homemade Christmas fragrance at this time of the year. I learned this treat from Kathy – it is a wonderful way to make the house smell Christmas-y.

Talbot’s Homemade Christmas Fragrance

1 box whole cloves
1 box cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
Rind of 1 lemon – sliced
Rind of 1 orange – sliced

Throw all the ingredients in a small pot and cover them with water. Simmer the blend gently on a back burner during the holidays to make the house smell good. Top up the water as needed!

The homemade Christmas fragrance creates a festive holiday mood very quickly. The scent takes me back to some fond memories of Christmas past!

Kitten ChristmasHere’s a photo of me with Ozzie, affectionately known as Mr. Kittles, when he was a baby kitten a few years ago. We’re in front of the Christmas tree at Kathy’s house and I do love the way Kathy displays her red and green candles in vintage candlestick holders on the mantle.

Aimee First Christmas and Dad Going even further back to when I was a baby, here I am with my dad on my very first Christmas in 1971. Yep, I really wanted to get my hands on that stacking rings toy. But I’ll smile nicely at the camera if it means I can get to the goodies quicker!

Greg at ChristmasHere’s Greg at about 16 months old, opening presents in the middle of Christmas chaos. Any boy with a puppy, a ball, and a cowboy outfit has to be in seventh heaven, right?

If you try our family’s homemade Christmas fragrance, I’d love to hear if you enjoy it! Tell us in the comments box below, or share your own favorite holiday scents.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Christmas Cookies and Franklin Nut Cake

We are so lucky at this time of year! Kathy makes tray after tray after tray of Christmas cookies – she likes to give out gifts of cookies to the neighbors. Kathy is Greg’s mom and also our Mrs Fixit who handles all our restorations. Of course, she can’t stand the idea of her family not being able to eat as many cookies as humanly possible.

Kathy makes sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter blossoms, magic cookie bars, gingerbread, the Christmas cookies list goes on and on. However, Greg’s dad John and I agree on our favorite cookie – the white chocolate peanut butter sandwiches. In case you have never tried this scrumptious treat, here is Kathy’s recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Christmas Cookies

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Decide how many cookies you want to make – you’ll need twice that number of Ritz crackers. Spread peanut butter on half the Ritz crackers and use the other half as sandwich tops. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler. Carefully dip each peanut butter sandwich into the melted chocolate until it is coated, then set on wax paper and top with a pecan. Allow to dry. (Hide them from the family until you want to serve them as they tend to disappear quickly.)

Magic Christmas Cookie BarsGreg’s favorite Christmas cookies are Magic Cookie Bars. These are also pretty darn good, especially if you like coconut.

Kathy’s Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for a glass dish). Melt the margarine in the oven in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Sprinkle Graham crumbs over the margarine. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the crumbs and then top evenly with remaining ingredients. Press down firmly and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store the cookie bars loosely covered at room temperature.

Franklin Nut Cake

However, Kathy doesn’t stop at just Christmas cookies. She also makes fruit cakes and my favorite, Franklin Nut Cake. Greg’s sister Laura and I agree that Franklin Nut Cake is fantastic for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee – especially if you want to curl up with a good book while you nibble and sip. Franklin Nut Cake is actually a very old family recipe, handed down from Kathy’s mother, Margaret.

Margaret’s Franklin Nut Cake

1 lb. butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb. chopped candied cherries (red and green)
1/2 lb. chopped candied pineapple
1 lb. chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla
NOTE: Save a few whole cherries and pecan halves to decorate the top of the cake.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the beaten eggs. Add 3 cups of the flour sifted with the baking powder and salt. Mix remaining cup of flour with chopped cherries, pineapple, and nuts. Stir into batter and then add vanilla. Pour into a tube pan that has been heavily greased and floured. Decorate with saved cherries and nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 3 hours. Let the cake cool in the pan.

This cake is really rich, moist, and tasty! Even people who don’t like fruit cake love this. John is a case in point.

If you try these Christmas cookies and cake recipes, we’d love to know if you enjoy them! Tell us in the comments box below… or share your own Christmas cookies recipes.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.